Release Date: 7 October 2016
Run Time: 112 minutes
My Rating: 2 stars
“A teacher once told me I was the mystery of self-reinvention. It’s like having a secret, and nobody but me knows I’m doing it.”
Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.
*sigh* Where to begin with this train wreck (pun intended) of a film? I read Girl on the Train at the end of May 2015 and was not totally in love with it. As a reader and lover of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, I had high expectations for a novel that drew comparisons to one of my all-time favourite thrillers. Sadly, my expectations for Girl on the Train were not met, as I found the “plot twists” to be incredibly predictable and the characters terribly underdeveloped. The novel had a great deal of potential, but I found myself thinking “this can’t be this easy to figure out, can it?” as I read, wishing the scenes to be more complex and the plot more nail-bitingly intense.
All this being said, I thought, hey why not go see the movie anyway? Oftentimes, filmmakers take HUGE creative liberties with book to movie adaptations, so I’d hoped for once, being the ridiculous book snob that I am, that the film would be different from the novel. I was sadly disappointed. From the moment the movie began and I saw that the film was going to have title screens to denote the changing perspectives (like the chapters told from different perspectives in the novel), I knew the movie was going to stick a little to closely to the book for my liking. Emily Blunt’s portrayal of the main character, the troubled, alcoholic divorcée Rachel Watson, was one of the redeeming factors of the movie, along with Luke Evans’ Scott Hipwell (oh, if only he’d had more screen time!).
The movie was laughably lacking in suspense. I went to see this film with a friend (who has also read the book) and we both could not stop laughing the entire time-much to the dismay of my fellow moviegoers (especially the woman in front of me who gave me a dirty look). Now, I know what you’re thinking; that the lack of suspense was probably due to the fact that I’d read the book and knew what was coming before I saw it. This is partially true-though I mainly chalk up my incessant laughter to the peculiar, shaky camera effects, the lack emotion in most of the characters’ portrayals, and the film’s overall predictability.
I know I sound like such a Debbie Downer about this movie, but to be perfectly honest, there’s not much to be cheery about with this one (even if it had actually been a good film). If nothing else, I got a good laugh out of seeing it and despite all my scathing critiques, I don’t regret spending the $9 on what I now consider an unforgettable movie-going experience.
Have you all read Girl on the Train? Have you seen the film? What’re your thoughts? I certainly hope you enjoyed it more than I did! Let me know in the comments below!
Peace out, bookworms ✌🏼